Landscaping Plans and Summertime Fun

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted anything here. We hosted our first guests in our new home over the 4th of July weekend and I’ve been busy getting quotes for landscaping plans and having lots of summertime fun.

Our First Overnight Guests In Our New Home

My husband’s sister, brother, his wife, and their child spent the 4th of July weekend with us. They live in GA and it was the first time they’ve seen our new home. They raved about the comfort of the mattresses, so I’m glad the guest beds are comfortable.

We grilled ribeye steaks for dinner on the day they arrived and I made my famous overnight french toast casserole for breakfast on July 4th. The praline topping is so good!!

I like to serve the casserole with bacon or sausage and fresh fruit.

overnight french toast casserole

Independence Day Celebration

We celebrated Independence Day at our church. We host a free event every 4th of July complete with kids’ activities (lots of bouncy houses, mechanical bull, and obstacle courses), a live band, food trucks, and of course, fireworks at dark.

We have thousands attend each year and it’s one way that our church shows how much we love our community.

Summertime Travels

Back in June, we went with our daughter, son-in-law, and grandsons to Rosemary Beach on 30A in Florida. It was a great week as we celebrated our oldest grandson’s high school graduation.

The water is so clear there. It’s like being in the Caribbean.

rosemary beach FL

How can I be old enough to have a grandson who just graduated from high school? He was salutatorian and finished with a 5.1 GPA. (Grandmothers are allowed to brag on grandkids. It’s the law!) 🙂

We also traveled to Texarkana. My husband spoke at a conference and we took two of the grandkids with us.

Texarkana - border of Texas and Arkansas

Landscaping Plans

We still don’t have our landscaping done. We do mow our “weeds” every week. 🙂

But, I have finally received three bids on landscaping and have made a decision.

Landscapers, like everyone else, are behind because of supply issues, etc.

Plus, prices have skyrocketed. I knew landscaping would be expensive but I had no idea how expensive. This has been an eye-opening experience for sure.

The (obviously outdated) general rule is to spend 10% of the cost of your house on landscaping. Some of the bids came in at 30% and up of the cost of our house.

Two of them came in way over our budget. Finally, I just said, “Hey, our landscaping budget is X amount. What can we get for this?” Because I’m not paying two hundred thousand plus dollars for landscaping. I’m just not.

It pays to be on the same page as the landscaping designer. When they know how much you have budgeted for the landscaping, they are better equipped to come up with a plan based on your numbers.

I have to say that I do enjoy looking at the creative landscape drawings that the different companies came up with. And they all worked really hard on their renderings and measuring the yard to get me a quote.

I also was thinking that we should have gone way smaller on the yard. Remember, the bigger the outdoor space, the more it’s going to cost.

How I Chose My Landscape Designer

Ultimately, for me, it came down to three things: A plan that lines up with my vision, the best price, and being on the same page as far as the budget, timeline, etc.

When I mentioned how much I wanted to spend, the landscaper I chose said, “I can make your yard look gorgeous for that price.” It sealed the deal because I loved his renderings the best. He got me and my style and it’s so important that your style comes through in a landscaping plan.

Stay tuned because I’ll be showing before and after photos once the landscaping is complete.

Tips For Saving Money When Landscaping

Whether you’re doing your own landscaping or hiring it done, here are some real ways to save money.

Buy Smaller Plants

I noticed that a lot of the plants my landscaper had on the price list were on the bigger side. He suggested we go with smaller plants to save money. I totally agreed.

For instance, one landscape designer suggested Palmetto Palms for around the pool. Those babies are expensive. The landscaper I chose will do two islands around the pool and use pygmy palmettos. Much better!

Less is More

You don’t want to skimp on landscaping, but you can go overboard and end up with a lot of upkeep.

Chose Perennials Over Annuals

When it comes to adding color to your flower beds, remember that perennials come back every year.

Design a Low-Maintenance Plan

I told the landscape designer that I did not want high-maintenance landscaping.

Landscape In Phases

When you landscape in phases, it’s easier on your budget. Rome wasn’t built in a day and a beautiful outdoor space takes time.

So, there you have it. This is what I’ve been up to lately. I can’t believe it’s July already.

I’ll be back soon to update the landscaping plan.



Alli loves her southern, country lifestyle. Whether she's decorating her new modern farmhouse or cooking up a storm for her family, Alli is all about living her best life now and spoiling her grandkids! She enjoys traveling, reading, Duke basketball, photography, and all things coastal. Alli wants to be a beach bum when she grows up.

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